I had the soundfield M1 till last week and they are on their way to indiana.
First of all, i'd like to thank AJ for allowing the community to listen to these speakers. I came across these initially on the audiocircle forum, and a lot of people who heard them offered generous praise. The concept is unique and fills a gap in the audio market that no one (that i'm aware of) till now had addressed. A coincident driver with powered sub sounds so simple that its a wonder why no one tried this before. Everyone loves a monitor that puts out good bass (Eg: Look at the attention Sjofn Clue generated at the recent RMAF). Monitors are not physically imposing, and more often than not do a great job when it comes to imaging. And i've owned several monitors that are great from about 80hz and up but fall apart when it comes to bass. I like sealed speakers since the bass seems to be a lot more controlled and fast compared to ported speakers, but the downside is that they don't have an extension to speak of.
The M1 are perfect fit for me. They are a fairly large for a bookshelf, and weigh considerably more than other bookshelfs at almost 30lbs each. The sealed cabinet is off the shelf madisound cabinet, but has been modified internally, quite heavily i'd assume. The knuckle test reveals that it is very heavily braced. Most of your $$$ goes into whats inside these cabs. A KEF coincident driver with a 8" sub (i believe the production units have a different driver than the one that is in these tour versions) powered by 300w BASH amp. Looking at the cost of these drivers/amp alone, and what AJ is asking for these, it is no wonder that he doesn't rely on his audio business for daily bread
I can go on about how good they sound, but will fall far short of the tremendous effort that DS-21 has put into in his report on his blog
above. I agree with his assessment ... they are truly remarkable speakers. The soundstage is huge, and yet they image like champs. You can crank them up real loud, and they don't break a sweat. My tastes in music has mellowed down the years ... i used to be a big metal/hard rock fan, but hardly listen to that genre these days. While auditioning these speakers, my playlist was largely made up of the below:
- Ondekoza - Fujiyama
- Dire Straits (All albums) - My fav band
- Mark Knopfler - Shangrila/Privateering
- Steely Dan - Gaucho/Aja
- Allan Taylor - Colour of the moon
- Natalie Merchant - Tigerlily
- Sara K - No cover/Play on words
- Tinariwen - Tassili
- Ali Farka Toure - In the heart of the moon/Talking TImbuktu
- An assortment of bollywood music
While i had heard the speakers at LSAF this year, i was not quite prepared for how much bass these put out until i heard a track from the album fujiyama. These are extremely dynamic speakers that don't sound compressed at all. I paired them with my yamaha rx-a3000 receiver, and later with Yaqin hybrid integrated amp, and the yaqin seemed to be a better fit for these. I compared these with my selah SSR (scanspeak driver w/ribbon tweeter), and found the M1 to be a bit more mellower in both mids and highs. But understand that SSR tend to sound a wee bit hot. But there was no comparison as far as the bass was concerned
M1 dig into the 30s with ease, and sound very even from top to bottom. You can listen to them for ages without any ear fatigue.
I'd like to congratulate AJ on this wonderful speaker which is a welcome addition to the market and thank him for giving us an opportunity to listen to them in our homes.